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Why Calcium in the human body?

05/06/2007 3:20 AM

I know Calcium is involved in a variety of biological functions like creating the matrix of our bones to aiding in muscular contractions. But Calcium is a mineral. So why Calcium? Why not any other abundant and strong mineral, like diamond perhaps? Is there a sequance in our DNA that codes specifically to Calcium? I know that any heavy mineral and ion present in the blood stream ends up as a part of our bones' composition, until the osteocytes remove it. Scientists are able to grow human bones in labs now. Why can't they grow bones that are composed of a stronger mineral like Diamond(which is just a bunch of carbon atoms compressed under immense pressure, hence, stronger than Calcium, in stead of calcium, and then whatever patient/person had them implanted just took specially engineered vitamins for the rest of their life that had diamond mineral in there as well as calcium so that the diamond compostition remained constant throughout the remodeling process of osseous tissue?

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#1

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/06/2007 10:35 PM

I'm interested in any results from your findings on this.

D.Mockus

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#4
In reply to #1

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 3:01 AM

Nature has included Calcium in human boddy like sodium,potashium to balance electrochemical reaction to generate that melivolt on your ECG to give you a helthy hart any imbalance in these metels will lead malfunctioning of your heart.and heart failure!

crm

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#47
In reply to #4

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

07/02/2009 5:22 AM

how can you possibly know that when you can't even spell to be honest.

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#48
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

07/02/2009 5:45 AM

W - T - F - ? - !

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#2

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 1:48 AM

I'm not a chemistry guy but I think that calcium is a very reactive element and so enters into a number of chemical bonds useful in the process of life.

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#11
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 6:19 PM

Right. Diamond as OP suggested, is an allotrope only created in rare and extreme conditions. Calcium is a light and bond seeking element, very abundant in other life-forms, therefore readily available in food, fitting right into a metabolic element chain.

Besides, hind-sight of evolutional consequence, is often misjudged to have an apparent objective, when the trivial reality is more like: That's the way elements fitted together, thus ensured the organism survival, and so eventually immortalised in the DNA blueprint.

To that - saying "by chance, and so fixed" is good enough.

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Anonymous Poster
#3

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 2:12 AM

Calcium is fairly common in the normal environment, but other chemically similar elements such as flurorine will also work. For something to be used in the body it needs to be available and reactive at normal body conditions (ie its compounds will dissolve in water or weak acids). Jeff

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Anonymous Poster
#5

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 6:35 AM

My understanding is that calcium is not just a building material for bones but is integrated into the entire body. When it is needed elsewhere, it is removed from the bones. I don't believe you can change one part of the body makeup and expect it to work with the rest.

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#6

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 8:30 AM

Calcium is involved in a wide number of reactions in the body, somewhat similar to iron and hemoglobin, magnesium and chlorophyll. Example: Blood will not clot w/o sufficient Ca ions present. The reason Oxalic acid is such a severe poison is that the oxylate ions precipitate calcium ions from the blood, etc. Read some biochem texts, or even better, some medical texts on the chemistry of enzymes and calcium ions in the body. The "body" will actually take calcium from bones if one does not get enough in one's diet.

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#8
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 8:48 AM

Very well put Cardio07 you summed it up just nicely.

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#13
In reply to #6

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 7:19 PM

Theoretically speaking, if a person needed several large bones or even their entire skeleton to be surgically replaced for whatever the reason(let's say cancer that spread through out their skeleton only), would it be possible still to replace them with ones of another material that could be bio-implanted without rejection like diamond, so long as they continued to maintain a healthy blood:Ca ratio? Using x-rays, an exact model could be made(although yes, SUPER expensive and impractical) of a bone. They can already create and grow human bone marrow in labs as well as veins+arteries. So, still in theoretical context, would it then be possible to build the replacement bone, implant and artifically grow new bone marrow and veins+arteries into and throughout the new bone, then surgically seperate and remove the old bone and place the new one in? Then have the person take Ca supplements for the rest of their lives. In theory, could that work?

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#7

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 8:32 AM

Why not Adamantium instead of diamond!

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#9
In reply to #7

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 9:33 AM

That's what came to my mind when I read this post. Wolverine to the rescue!

Mike

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#10
In reply to #7

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 9:37 AM

Lol. Indeed, why not Adamatium, DC comics figured it out! J/k. Thank you all for your resonses. I have a much better picture of Ca's place in human physiology.

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#12

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 7:12 PM

Calcium is involved in numerous biological functions clotting,musle contraction nerve synapses it must be balanced with phosphorus for these reactions to proceed properly.

The various functions of the human body are similar to a battery in that life functions from the electrical sparks that control our very existence at the cellular level!No matter how hard we try to duplicate our function we have failed in every thing biological to equal the design we were built with!

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#14

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 7:31 PM

So basically by replacing a bone made of Calcium with one made of another mineral, you're taking away from the body's natural Ca supply which is needed for other bodily functions. Therefore in theory, so long as your body's Ca supply is maintained so it can still carry out all of it's other biological functions that require Ca, your bones' can be made of any mineral so long as it doesn't effect the normal functions of osteocystes and the rest of the body?

If that were true and done with a mineral like diamond that didn't break and require remodeling like Ca, and you still maintained your body's Ca supply via supplements, what would your osteoblasts and osteoclasts do? Would they die since the diamond wouldn't need any remodeling/rebuilding or would they just build Ca deposits ontop of the diamond bone like barnacles to a ship or other solid unchanging structure?

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#15
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 8:28 PM

Besides, you'd probably die of a heart attack from constantly trying to outrun the diamond thieves.

John

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#16

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 8:34 PM

E.T.: I got interested in this subject as a cancer patient trying to build bone mass and strength without the osteonecrosis risk of Zometa or Fosamax. My solution was strontium. It's been thoroughly tested and reported, mostly in Europe, and I've had satisfactory results for over a year. I take 680 mg/day as citrate. Two caveats though. You must continue taking calcium (at a different time of day) for a strong bone matrix. Strontium alone adds mass but isn't strong. Also, beware of the vitamin rip-off artists. You can get reasonably priced 340 mg caps. I haven't given much thought to building an entire new skeleton. Best Regards, DickL

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 11:08 PM

I can't tell you enough how grateful I am for your info about the use of Strantium. That is the first proof I need that an altered bone matrix is indeed biologically possible and can be therapeutic. Thank you again!

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#43
In reply to #16

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

09/11/2007 5:45 AM

if more calcium in the body what will happen? and low calcium what will happen? reason pls

what is the applicatin of bone tissue culture?

how i will do the bone tissue culture with hole protocal

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#17

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 9:23 PM

"Why not any other abundant and strong mineral, like diamond perhaps?"

Because this is mortal life and diamonds are forever.

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#20
In reply to #17

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 11:12 PM

If you believe mortals don't have anything to do with immortality(which I most definately am not trying to do here for the record) please do some research into telomerase. Abundant in Cancer cells and an integral part of our embryonic survival. If ever learned how to manipulate, you would see a form of cellular immortality to a degree. Based on current Stem cell research, and work on a process known as dedifferentiation, it may be happening in our life times.

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#22
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 11:36 PM

Telomers, however long or extended by enzymes at the end of the chromosome, will inevitably lead to apoptosis, and the cells will suicide on their own initiative.

The reverse transciptaze family is evidently effective, as you stated, but only as short term remedy.

Trees and reptilians, besides some flora, have much longer and more resilient telomers, but eventually, they die too.

It's probably a very deep aspect of metabolic design that death is inevitable, inspite of the immense leap, in the discoveries of telomer functionality, and that of stem-cell research.

A mind blowing subject, no doubt, and a worthy mention of yours.

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#23
In reply to #22

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/08/2007 12:19 AM

So since telomers are present in Cancer cells, does that mean that by treating it rather than cure it, scientists are trying/attempting to help the host outlive the cancer then? Assuming they can get it to stop spreading?

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#24
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/08/2007 9:32 AM

From what I gather, the current approach to cancer is still to locate the control genes associated with cell division and understand their role in enabling and disabling timely division. Very trivial and expected, but none the less exciting.

Just think of the implication in stem cell and differentiation mechanisms.

What you point at, is nothing I've specifically heard of, but is has a strange familiar, positive, sense. Who knows? The whole field of enzyme-control resulting from "Genetic Engineering" is likely to have exciting application, as seen in the use of plasmids for gene splicing in insulin treatment.

Your ideas seem novel and forward-going. We all need this way of thinking.

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#25
In reply to #24

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/08/2007 10:28 AM

That is incredible. If they could manage to manipulate the genes involved in cell division, the implications are astonishing to say the least. Do you know if they've figured out a rough average of how long telomers will enable a cell to survive before apoptosis? Also, do you have any knowledge with regards to the chemical composition of neural cells? My understanding with regards to neurons is that they don't divide once you've reached maturity. Sort of like your adult teeth: You get only one set.

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#26
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/08/2007 11:51 AM

Well, I'm not an expert, but in general, the main problem in deciphering the AGCT (AGCU in RNA) sequence, for a picture of meaningful gene sequence, is mainly contextual (what a surprise...): A given gene in the sense of what's called "Cistron", the protein assembling unit, between two stop-signs.

In reality we know that a morphology influential gene, the more common term in use, is the consequential interaction of hundreds or sometimes thousands, of cistron gene units, acting in concurrence. Ther is no specific cistron-gene unit for blue eyes, there are hundreds, and they influence a lot of other aspects in the living body, besides eye color. So, the problem is contextual.

The completion of the human gene mapping however, is a giant leap, because now we can concentrate on contextual understanding, a dedicate the research-resources for deciphering a meaningful code, rather than chemical analysis of protein structure (which is immensely important in it's own given right).

Neural cells are very peculiar cells. besides their biological properties, as a member of a given cell culture, they are, in a unique analogue way, a "micro computing unit" in the sense, that they communicate, exchange, regulate and control, neuro-transmitters, mineral-ion messengers, an hormones. The amazing factor of all this is that each cell is individually able to compute and decide, but also in conjunction with a myriad of others. Researching these, too, in a contextual manner, is also a great challenge, thus a prospect, serious prospect, for the next, say, two hundred years?

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#27
In reply to #26

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/08/2007 12:25 PM

It seems as though man-kind has finally finished disassembling the "car." Now the challenge is putting it back together piece by piece. Consequently, as you are able to pick up "one individual piece" and truly focus on it to figure out what it does and where to put it, you realize there is a lot more to that one little piece than you ever realized. That gives rise to even more dissassembly and study....

I'de say 200 years is a roughly accurate number. :(

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#19

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 11:09 PM

I wonder about the performance capability of a diamond. Imagine a diamond the size of a femur (Thigh Bone). Does any one know what the bending moment would be? Diamonds are hard but is rigid what is needed with bones. The fracture toughness for diamonds is 3/4 of that of aluminium. Check out some of the other properties of diamonds: www.matweb.com/search/SpecificMaterial.asp?bassnum=CDiamA

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#21
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/07/2007 11:23 PM

That's where collagen fibers come into play. Bones made of Ca aren't flexible by themselves. Alone, they are only strong when it comes to compressability. When Collagen Fibers built into the bone, they then become strong and flexible. Combined, they make our bones on par with steel reinforced concrete. But Ca is essentially a brittle and weak mineral which causes many ailments to arise in the body. I hypothesize -which someone already attested to being possible - that since Ca is just a mineral and any and all minerals that end up in the blood stream, end up in the bone, there must be a way to live and permanently restructure bones to prevent certain injuries and diseases.

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#28
In reply to #21

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/09/2007 2:10 PM

Mankind existed million years. Chemistry is better understood probably a few centuries to now. Modern medical science is probably a century old. Biotechnology is probably 2 decades old. Perpatuality is by reproductive regeneration, not an individual. So, can diamond do the job of what calcium is needed by the body?... very very very very very ...trying!

Technically or chemically, although diamond is a composition of carbons, it has to go under tremendous process by temperature, pressure and time ( in million years) to form. Artificial diamond is still too precious and costly, let alone the scarcely available diamond stone..or gem they call it. Availability and commerically impossible.

By Chemistry, group type, physcal properties, structures and ionics exchange properties are not compatible nor internchangeable.

By Biology, the bone matrix needs Ca, Mg, K ions and probably also need some more other minerals not fully explained. Check with the milk producers and promters and they have gone from Ca to Mg and K and who knwos what exactly they say what our bone supposed to be the right composition.

For toughness that is stronger than bone that I know is carbon fibre. The Formula One cars give excellent shape, rigidity, toughness and lightness... probably F1 drivers will never crash and die in the track. Carbon fibre is probably better, cheaper and more available.But again, bones are a different thing altogether.

Finally, calcium in the body is becuase it is the right pick of natural mineral resoucre in abundance by the cleverness of natural evolution, replenishable by the food we consume, chemically and ionically comaptible to give us the built structure, keep us alive & going and play balls with the knocks and bangs, but will sometime if overdo, will break the bones and then you need a cast for it to mend and heal from 1 to 6 months and play ball again if you have not given up about playing balls!

So, why calcium in the body?.... to play balls and bang hard and trying not to get hurt or f you do, 1 to 6 months to recover. Sorry for guys with cancer in the bone, but doctors and biotechnologists are still trying to bring about some good news... just have to wait-lah guys.

...clever answer I thought it was.

YT Lim

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#29
In reply to #28

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/09/2007 3:33 PM

So are you saying that Ca is the ONLY option then? Mind you, we're not discussing the most practical,safe and natural bone mineral options, but what is possible. Read Dick's post earlier about the use of Strontium with Ca supplements. As for Carbon, it is biocompatible, so long as your are able to maintain your body's other mineral supplies at levels necessary for homeostasis. Diamond is infact biocompatible. Here is researched proof: http://www.imm.org/Reports/Rep012.html . If you don't feel like reading the entire report, at least make note of the last line.

Please, next time you post something, take the time to verify your information and read the other comments posted previous to yours. Ignorance is Science's #1 enemy.

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#30
In reply to #29

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/11/2007 10:24 AM

The question was why calcium in the human body.

Perhaps you can implant a diamond in whichever parts of your body can hold and be dangling happy about it.

It was said about making bones as hard as diamond then and now we are going back to carbon only which has some common sense. Carbon and diamond are from the same family but never the same when deliberated.

Carbon is biocompatible and in all the food we can eat in the world, I know it by being a common sense people and no need to be a scientist. However I din't know of carbon in the bones that I have learnt, and diamond for structural strength in the bone?! Any carbon as mienral supplement around the market place?... I know of carbon being used by doctors only for treatment of diarrhea.

Since you put up a clever questions in the forum, so I tried to be funny and clever as well. Probably you are the few rare over researched scientists to post the statement that ignorance of science has to become enemy of mankind. It is just like George Bush and Tony Blair, anybody they didn't like are terrorists and enemies. All I know science is about learning more and for the better of mankind.

If anyone knows everything then he will be god and not a humanbeing! George Bush and Tony Bliar almost thought so as the heads/chiefs of their countries and key leaders of the world and they got backfired for their ill intentions and destructions.

Probably there is no funny bone in this forum. Cao!

By the way, CR4/Globespec did not specify only scientists can blog in the forum, I was invited to join The Engineer's Place for news and discussions.Chemical and Material Science was somehting I am still ignorant and trying to learn but I choose not making science being the #1 enemy, but something to learn and trying to share my thoughts.

YT Lim

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/11/2007 11:03 AM

I apologize for being rude. Good luck in your quest for knowledge. God knows the world would be better off if more people were to undertake the same chalenge.

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#32

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/11/2007 1:48 PM

Because calcium is the most readily availble light soluble metal
that is not too soluble.

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#33
In reply to #32

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/11/2007 1:50 PM

Fivestar rating is my vote to your post. Clear and concise.

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#34

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/13/2007 6:39 PM

It seems that calcium can be replaced.

What will happen if the carbon is replaced with silicon? Little green men?

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#35
In reply to #34

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/14/2007 11:47 AM

O.K. - Wild speculations- (for fun only):

In a higher energy enviornment, (solute other than water):

Silicon for Carbon, Sulfur for Oxygen,

or possible S- ...SO4- energy interchange (sim. to C...CO2).

Maybe on Venus, there's something odd happening with sulfur in the atmosphere there.

(I doubt the L.G.M.s would be green.)

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#36
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/14/2007 1:06 PM

At 735 Kelvin surface temperature it's over melting point for sulfur - 388 k, and way over oxygen 54 k, while carbon (4300–4700 k) and silicon (1687 k) safe from melting and boiling.

Now, that's on earth pressure. What's the pressure on Venus?

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#37
In reply to #36

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/15/2007 8:00 PM

About 5 atmospheres IIRC.

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#38
In reply to #37

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/15/2007 8:53 PM

That's dense as a mofo!

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#39

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/23/2007 8:36 AM

Learn about anthropic principle; then understand why no answer for question that can't validly be asked.

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#40
In reply to #39

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/23/2007 1:13 PM

To quote a denizen of another webgroup, one 'Uncle Al`:

"There is no such thing as an anthropomorphic principle.
Man evolved to fit his world, not the other way round."

That said, millions of years of blind experementation can look like
intelligent design, and therefore, like occams razor, the anthropomorphic
principle can be a useful tool as long as you remember its weakness.

It is an indicator with no real logical justification.

"The optimist insists thst we live in the best of all possible worlds.
The pessimist fears that this may be so."

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#41
In reply to #40

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/23/2007 1:44 PM

Well said Pragmatist. Only 'as long as you remember its weakness' doesn't apply to the average moron, not having understood initial principles in the first place.

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#42
In reply to #41

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

05/23/2007 4:44 PM

I reiterate: anthropic! Not the "one" alluded to, about strange conglomerate beings with humanlike characteristics. That aside, Guest and Pragmatist's points are well considered.

Signed, Not Al's group

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#44

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

01/16/2008 3:10 PM

well i just want to know what would happen if you had too much calcium in your body...

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#45
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

01/16/2008 3:39 PM

A friend of mine died of cancer. Before he died he went through hypocalcaemia, to much calcium in the blood stream. This caused hallucinations and a great deal of distress and mental anguish. So to much calcium in the blood stream definitely affects the mind. What the physiological effects are I can't say as he only lasted a week after the hypocalcaemia was stabilised.

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#46
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Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

01/16/2008 8:16 PM

As probably mentioned elsewhere, calcium ions are responsible for the firing mechanism in neural signalling, to explain some of the severe mental effect you mentioned

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#49

Re: Why Calcium in the human body?

11/06/2009 8:26 PM

For strong bones is one reason.

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